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New Chief Orders CDC to Cut Management Layers

Thomas Frieden, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has decided to dismantle a key component of former CDC Director Julie Gerberding’s controversial reorganization of the Atlanta-based agency. In a memo sent to CDC staffers on Friday, Frieden said he will “remove … from the CDC’s structure” the four Coordinating Centers—for infectious disease, health information, health promotion, and environmental health—that had been established as part of Gerberding’s restructuring, started in 2005.

While the centers' functions will be preserved, Frieden told staffers that “the current organizational structure is not best suited to meet the agency’s mission.” He based his decision on the recommendations of an internal panel which said that CDC can operate more efficiently with fewer layers of management. The Coordinating Center structure had been unpopular with many at CDC because it diminished the influence of national centers under its umbrella.